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items tagged with Ben Mendelsohn

“Pines” Soul: "The Place Beyond the Pines" and "Oblivion"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2013-04-22 03:15:21

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in The Place Beyond the PinesTHE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

You may not remember this if you’re 25 or younger, but between the mid-’70s and mid-’90s, we were sometimes treated to Very Special Episodes of long-running sitcoms. These episodes, which were usually twice as long as their shows’ 22-minute standard, found beloved characters momentarily wrestling with Weighty Themes and tackling Important Issues, and were frequently showered with critical praise and awards despite, or maybe because of, their general self-consciousness and bloat. (Michael J. Fox and Helen Hunt surely owe several of their Emmys to VSEs.) They’re mocked now, and they were kind of mocked then, and so it might seem like a particularly condescending insult to say that director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines feels like nothing so much as a Very Special Episode of a gritty, edgy indie drama.


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Ho Ho Horrible: "Rise of the Guardians," "Killing Them Softly," and "The Collection"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2012-12-03 13:45:05

Rise of the GuardiansRISE OF THE GUARDIANS

There appears to be a certain amount of bafflement, among those who track such things, as to why Rise of the Guardians has failed to make its expected dent on the late-autumn box office. Did the action comedy open too soon after the release of the similarly animated Wreck-It Ralph, thereby splintering its audience? Was the casting of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy as makeshift superheroes an idea deemed too juvenile for viewers over the age of three? Was the film’s title generic and confusing, leading potential crowds to expect the arrival of the owls of Ga’Hoole?

If I may, I’d like to posit a different, simpler theory: The movie just sucks.


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